Changes Are Needed to Keep Condo Associations Afloat

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

Changes Are Needed to Keep Condo Associations Afloat


The multifamily housing boom of the 1970s and AE80s was born in the 1960s with the advent of the condominium form of ownership.

The post-World War II generation purchased two-flats, duplexes, row houses and even cooperatives, but by the shear numbers, nothing compared to the explosion of apartment and townhouse-style condominium and homeowners associations that followed soon thereafter.Local governments welcomed developers who offered affordable housing to meet this demand.

Like any other commodity produced for the mass market, quality sometimes gave way to greed. Local governments often did not invest heavily in quality control, which allowed room for substandard materials, untrained and unskilled labor and deadline-intensive shoddy workmanship. Disreputable developers could ring up huge profits the faster it turned out housing, and municipalities could gain from adding new housing stock to the tax rolls, as well as permit fee revenue.

It was not until the first purchasers of defective condominiums began to demand repairs did state courts and local governments react with some form of consumer protection laws.

The Building Officials and Code Administrators (B.O.C.A.) regulations were first enacted in 1915, but did not become the standard until several decades ago. Even though the code was always intended to measure performance rather than creating a set of rigid specifications for materials, in practical application it seems that the latter standard is typically used by building inspectors even today. Even though many cities reference the codes, a subjective standard is used from town to town, which is what creates so much variance from property to property.

It was not until the schools became overcrowded and the strains on municipal services and utilities began to adversely affect existing residents that developers were required to pay, in advance, for the potential adverse impact they had on these communities. The obligation of developers to donate cash or a parcel of land as a condition of city approval of new residential developments was confirmed in the case of Krughoff v. City of Naperville, 369 N. E. 2nd 892, (Ill. 1977).

Extra costs not contemplated in the developerAEs plan is passed along to the buyer with higher purchase prices or a reduction in construction quality. …

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Changes Are Needed to Keep Condo Associations Afloat
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